My first “proper” camera was a Yashica FX-D Quartz (no less!) with a standard zoom lens. When I went digital it just stayed there in the closet and was never used, so I sold it. Stupid right? Yes.
Simple controls and no screen! The leather imitation has a tendency to shrink which is cosmetically unpleasing…
Then a(*) Konica Autoreflex TC came along and it sort of stuck with me. The touch and feel of it is great! It is what one would call solid in the best meaning of the word. What continues to strike me is how small film cameras really can be! The digital SLR:s looks blunt and oversized compared to the slickness of many film cameras. The Konica is no exception.
The Trip is almost pocketable and the Autoreflex TC not much larger. Although I would not try to fit in a pocket…
As 40 mm lenses are a favorite by me it was not long until I found a Hexanon AR 40 F1.8 lens to it. The lens is apparently regarded as a very sharp lens of its age. I have to agree.
A drawback with this oldie is the battery problem. It requires now obsolete mercury batteries: “Use only Mallory PX-13, PX-625 or Eveready EPX-13 for photographic use” the label on the bottom clearly states. And while 1.3 V batteries can be found they do not have the same discharging curve as the mercury ones. Mercury batteries keep very constant voltage until exhausted, when they drop very quickly.
A workaround is to use modern batteries with about the same voltage and compensate exposure instead. This is how I tackled the problem. However, as modern batteries slowly change their voltage this is not all too reliable. I imagine it would be possible to construct a switched regulator with surface mount components powered from common silver oxide batteries or the like?
Apart from the battery problem it is a very straightforward camera to use. In AE(automatic exposure)-mode you set the shutter speed (B, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125 (sync), 250, 500 or 1000) and the camera takes care of the rest. What surprised me is how the slowest time runs with absolutely no hesitation.
Just one shot this time. Fomapan 100 and HC-110 (1+60) as usual.
(*) Well actually I was given one and was keen to disassemble it. But since it seemed to be in perfect working order there was no real ‘repairing’ to do, I got another one from the internet. That one unfortunately also worked. So I have not used my screwdrivers on either of them. They just seem to work. Solid they are!